116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A company seeking to build a carbon dioxide pipeline through five Iowa counties, including Linn, says it will hold a second round of public meetings after confirming some landowners did not get proper notice of its August meetings.
Wolf Carbon Solutions, based in Denver, Colo., held meetings Aug. 29-31 in Johnson, Cedar, Linn, Clinton and Scott counties to talk about a proposed 280-mile underground pipeline that could transport carbon dioxide from ADM plants in Cedar Rapids and Clinton to an underground site in central Illinois.
But many of the people who attended those meetings said they had not been notified by certified mail and questioned whether the process was legal. The Iowa Utilities Board Sept. 23 ordered Wolf to explain within 10 days how public notice was provided and verify certified letters were sent.
Wolf acknowledged in a response this week there were “aberrations” in the process they used to inform landowners about the meetings.
“During the course of its internal review, Wolf recognized and acknowledges some anomalies have occurred that potentially resulted in certain landowners not receiving notice by certified mail, separate from Wolf’s efforts to provide notice by other means, such as the properly published public newspaper notices,” Wolf wrote in a Monday response to the board’s questions.
Wolf officials said they didn’t know how many certified letters had failed to miss their mark until after the meetings, when some letters were returned saying “insufficient address” or “no such number.”
The company has asked the Utilities Board for permission to hold more meetings. Those meetings, if allowed, would be “scheduled as soon as possible, while also allowing adequate time for mailing of new notices and publication of the same,” Wolf said in the filing.
Redoing the meetings could set back Wolf’s proposal process. The company can’t start negotiations with landowners until after the informational meetings and can’t file a permit request with the state until 30 days after the completion of the meetings.
But holding more meetings may be preferable to providing additional information the Utilities Board requested, including copies of the return receipts of all certified mailings.
Wolf officials said they do not want to use eminent domain to force landowners to grant easements and the company hasn’t used condemnation on past projects.
The company’s proposal calls for collection of compressed CO2 at ADM plants and shipping it in a 16-inch underground pipeline to ADM’s sequestration site near Decatur, Ill. Wolf wants to find other industrial clients to tie into the project, which would be eligible for up to $1 billion a year in federal tax credits.
At meetings in August, dozens of landowners spoke out against the pipelines, saying they worried about explosions, didn’t want to lose productivity of farmland and were skeptical about the benefits of carbon sequestration as a means of preventing the worst effects of climate change.
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